Take the Olympic Challenge

OlympicMoms 2014 - Join the fun, share fitness and nutrition tips, and cheer your family on  to a healthy lifestyle! #OlympicMoms

Did you ever dream of being an Olympian? Well, now is your chance to become one. But before I get to that, let me tell you about how I became obsessed with the Olympics.

I’m a total Olympics fanatic – both Summer and Winter! So naturally I am loving watching all of the Olympics right now. As is my son, who is happy watching any sport he can.

My love for the Olympics goes back to the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. My father was selected as the only southerner on the Olympic Ski Patrol for the games. He was gone for weeks to train and then for the actual Olympics themselves. I remember us crowding around the television to spy a glimpse of him on the side of the slopes. Supposedly my older sister and mom saw him one night after I went to bed, of course!

That experience and watching the Miracle on Ice left such an impression on me that I get so excited and anxious as the Olympics near every 2 years. It is no coincidence that I chose Lake Placid for my first Ironman race in homage to my father for what it meant to him and me as well. I was never an Olympic athlete, but at least I could compete (albeit in an entirely different way) in a place that holds great meaning for our family.

My only up close personal experience with the Olympics was in 1996 here in Atlanta. I, along with my older sister and parents, volunteered as hosts. Basically, it meant I was a local guide for delegates from San Marino and accompanied them wherever they wanted to go while they were here. It was a wonderful experience and I got to see so many events as well as behind the scenes during the games.

So where am I going with all this? Some colleagues of mine are using the Olympics as inspiration for families to get active and eat healthier for 14 days of the Olympics. This post by my friend and colleague EA Stewart (who has the most gorgeous photography on her blog, by the way) explains the challenge in more detail as well as a link to download a great printable document with all kinds of ways to challenge you to lead a healthier, active life during these 14 days. But now is your chance to be like an Olympian in the eyes of your family and promote a healthy, active lifestyle.

And here is my confession. I am committing to exercising and/or meeting my steps goal (love my fitbit!) every day for the next 14 days. While I used to be incredibly active participating in multiple triathlons and road races of varying lengths, those days are in my past. After 2 high risk pregnancies on bed rest, running my own business, taking care of my 2 children and attempting to keep my house in order, time for regular, consistent exercise has been a struggle. Though that changes now. Although my 2 year old still doesn’t sleep through the night (bless her!), I am going to bed earlier so that I can wake up at 6 am and get my workout in. I owe it to myself and my children to feel the best I can. Plus, I want to be a good role model for my children so that they grow up seeing that living an active life is second nature and not a chore.

I started this past Friday and so far, so good! We had gorgeous weather this weekend and we got in lots of outdoor playtime at the park, as you can see below. I’ll post my progress here from time to time, though I’ll probably be using my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages more for that. You can follow the hashtags #OlympicMoms #OlympicDads to see everyone that is participating and giving out all kinds of tips for inspiration. If you are on Pinterest, check out the #OlympicMoms Pinterest page. Come join us!